WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association announced that it has formed an Equality Steering Committee devoted to promoting diversity and inclusion across the association and the equipment finance industry. In 2018 the ELFA Board of Directors established a Diversity Work Group and added new language to the association’s mission statement and strategic plan affirming its commitment to diversity and inclusion. The new Equality Steering Committee will further advance efforts to foster equality, diversity and inclusion.
The ELFA Equality vision statement reads: “ELFA Equality is committed to making sure that all people, regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, physical characteristics or mental abilities, feel welcome and valued in the equipment finance industry, ELFA and member companies.” The steering committee will fulfill this vision through:
- Awareness: Providing education, information and insights to identify opportunities for increased diversity participation in ELFA and the equipment finance industry.
- Advocacy: Promoting the advancement of diversity in hiring and volunteering in ELFA and in member companies.
- Action: Preparing programs and mentoring activities that can assist in achieving greater diversity balance.
The steering committee met in person for the first time at the 2019 ELFA Annual Convention in Washington, D.C., under the leadership of Chair Scott Thacker, Chief Executive Officer of Ivory Consulting Corporation.
“The equipment finance industry thrives on innovation, and innovation thrives on diversity,” said Thacker. “Many studies have demonstrated that businesses that embrace diversity, inclusion and equality are more profitable and attract more talented people. The association created ELFA Equality to promote equality everywhere and to welcome everyone. I am honored and humbled to be the founding Chair of ELFA Equality and pledge to infuse an equality-first perspective across the equipment finance industry. My appreciation goes out to our robust and diverse steering committee—20 people strong—made up of a diverse group of volunteers as well as supportive allies who will work tirelessly to advocate for equality and inclusion for all.”
“As the marketplace evolves, it’s more important than ever for our association and our industry to embrace diversity and welcome all ideas to the table,” said ELFA President and CEO Ralph Petta. “We believe that by focusing on diversity and inclusion, we’re empowering not only the people who make up our member organizations and the markets they serve—but also our entire industry. Our aspiration as an association is that the people powering this great sector—including our members and their customers—will represent a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives. Together with our member companies, ELFA looks forward to advancing initiatives to support equality, diversity and inclusion in everything we do.”
Members of the ELFA Equality Steering Committee include:
- Scott Thacker, Ivory Consulting Corporation (Committee Chair)
- Michael Baez, Capgemini America, Inc.
- Deb Baker, HP Inc. (Chair, ELFA Women’s Council)
- Allison Conley, LEAF Commercial Capital Inc.
- David Cramer, Amur Equipment Finance
- Dave Drury, Fifth Third Bank
- Sherrie Fortson, CDW Direct LLC
- Shawn Halladay, The Alta Group LLC
- Charles Hill, DLL
- Kyin Lok, Dext Capital
- Kara Miyasato , Stryker Flex Financial (Chair, ELFA Emerging Talent Advisory Council)
- David Normandin, Wintrust Specialty Finance (Member, ELFA Board of Directors)
- Stuart Papavassiliou, LEAF Commercial Capital Inc.
- Lisa Rafter, Monitor|monitordaily.com
- Mike Romanowski, Farm Credit Leasing
- Delroy Stauffer, Odessa
- Wayne Super, Cisco Systems Capital Corporation
- Jorge Vence, Commercial Equipment Finance, Inc.
- Josh Verhulst, Tech Defenders
The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) is the trade association that represents companies in the nearly $1 trillion equipment finance sector, which includes financial services companies and manufacturers engaged in financing capital goods. ELFA members are the driving force behind the growth in the commercial equipment finance market and contribute to capital formation in the U.S. and abroad. Its 575 members include independent and captive leasing and finance companies, banks, financial services corporations, broker/packagers and investment banks, as well as manufacturers and service providers. For more information, please visit www.elfaonline.org.